We at Jaagruti had attended the ‘India for Animals’ 2011 conference held at Chennai from 29-31 January 2011, with the objective of sharing our learnings from the conference with the readers of this website as well as the many people who keep searching the internet for information on such topics and often end up being disappointed with the paucity of easily understandable information available online on subjects of animal welfare and laws for the common man who cares for animals on the street and empathizes with the suffering of animals. The information presented below will be useful for reporting cases and lodging F.I.Rs with police on issues other than animal abuse as well.
Mr. Ajay Marathe, an RTI Activist from Mumbai shares this important brochure titled, “First Information Report (F.I.R) and YOU’ prepared by the Commonwealth Human Rights initiative which provides answers to all the questions related to F.I.R’s that may cross our mind often. You can download this brochure by clicking here.
Below is a handout shared by Ms. Anjali Sharma (Advocate, Legal advisor and board member, Animal Welfare Board of India) and Inspector Ajaib Singh of Punjab Police in the workshop they had held on Day 2 of this conference titled, “Animal Abuse-F.I.R se Jail tak‘
WHAT IS AN FIR, AND WHO CAN LODGE AN FIR?
First Information Repot (FIR) is a written document prepared by the police when they receive information about the commission of cognizable offence. It is generally a complaint lodged with the police by the victim of a cognizable offence, or by someone on his/her behalf. Any one who knows about the commission of a cognizable offence, including a police officer who comes to know about the same, can lodge an FIR.
WHAT IS A COGNIZABLE OFFENCE?
A cognizable offence is one for which the police are authorized to start investigation on their own, and do not require any order from the court to do so. They are authorized to arrest without warrant.
WHAT IS A NON-COGNIZABLE OFFENCE?
A non-cognizable offence is an offence in which a police officer has no authority to arrest without warrant. The police cannot investigate such an offence without the court’s permission.
THE POLICE MAY NOT INVESTIGATE A COMPLAINT AND REGISTER FIR IF:-
(i) The case, in the opinion of the officer in charge of a police station, is not of serious nature;
(ii) The police feel that there is not enough ground to investigate.
However, the police must record reasons for not conducting an investigation, and in the latter case, must also inform the complainant.
HOW SHOULD YOU GO ABOUT LODGING AN FIR?
i) Inform the officer in charge of the concerned police station, either orally, or in writing, regarding the commission of the offence ;
ii) When information about the commission of a cognizable offence is given orally, the police must write it down ;
iii) It is your right as the person giving information regarding the commission of an offence to demand that the information recorded by the police be read over to you.
iv) You should sign the report only after verifying that the information recorded by the police is as per the details given by you.
v) Always ask for a copy of the FIR, since it your right to get it free of cost.
WHAT SHOULD YOU MENTION IN YOUR COMPLAINT THAT YOU WANT REGISTERED AS AN FIR?
- Date, and time and the location at which the incident that you wish to report about, occurred;
- An accurate description of the incident that you wish to report;
- Names and descriptions of the persons involved in the incident.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOUR FIR IS NOT REGISTERED?
- You can meet the Superintendent of Police or other higher officers like Deputy Inspector General of Police or Inspector General of Police, and bring your complaint to their notice.
- You can send your complaint in writing and by post to the Superintendent of Police concerned. If the Superintendent of Police is satisfied with your complaint, he shall either investigate the case himself or order an investigation to be made.
- You can file a private complaint before the court having jurisdiction.
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THE POLICE ACT, 1861
An Act for the Regulation of Police
Preamble: – WHEREAS it is expedient to re-organise the police and to make it a more efficient instrument for the prevention and detection of crime; It is enacted as follows: –
34. Punishment for certain offences on roads, etc:- Powers of police officers.-
Any person who, on any road or in any 2[open place or] street or thoroughfare within the limits of any town to which this section shall be specially extended by the State-Government, commits any of the following offences, to the obstruction, inconvenience, annoyance, risk, danger of damage of the 3[ residents or passengers] shall, on conviction before a Magistrate, be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty rupees, or to imprisonment 4[with or without hard labour] not exceeding eight days; and it shall be lawful for any police officer to take into custody; without a warrant, any person who, within his view, commitsany of such offences namely :-
First-Slaughtering cattle, Curious riding, etc:- Any person who slaughters any cattle or cleans any carcass; any person who rides or drives any cattle recklessly or furiously, or trains or breaks any horse or other cattle;
Second-Cruelty to animal:- Any person who wantonly or cruelly beats, abuses or tortures any animal; .
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THE DELHI POLICE ACT, 1978
An Act to amend and consolidate the law relating to the regulation of the police in the Union territory of Delhi.
It is to be noted that the Delhi Police act has a special chapter, i.e Chapter 9 devoted to empowering officials of Delhi Police with special powers over and above those mentioned in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 to enforce this act further
CHAPTER IX (DELHI POLICE ACT): Special Powers under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960
73. Powers with regard to offences under Act 59 or 1960. (1) When in respect of an animal an offence punishable under sub-section (1) of Sec. 11 or Sec. 12 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 has been committed, when there is a reasonable ground for suspecting that such offence has been committed, a police officer may-
(a) take the animal to the Metropolitan Magistrate, or
(b) if the accused person so requires, take the animal to a veterinary officer specified by general or special order by the Administrator in this behalf:
Provided that the police officer may, instead of taking the animal to a veterinary officer, take the animal for detention in a dispensary, or in any suitable place approved by the Administrator by general or special order and the animal shall thereupon be detained there until its production before a Metropolitan Magistrate, or
(c) take the animal to an infirmary appointed under Sec. 35 of the said Act for treatment and detention thereto, pending direction of a Magistrate under sub-section (2) of that section, or
(d) when the animal is in such physical condition that it cannot be taken to a veterinary officer or a Metropolitan Magistrate, draw up a report of the condition of the animal in the presence of two or more respectable persons describing such wound, sores, fractures, bruises, or other marks of injury as may be found on the body of the animal:
Provided that the police officer may take the animal for detention in a dispensary or any suitable place approved by the Administrator by general or special order and the animal shall thereupon be detained there until its produce before a Metropolitan Magistrate.
(2) Where an animal is detained in a dispensary, infirmary or other place under sub-section (1), the animal shall be produced before a Metropolitan magistrate with the least possible delay and in any case within a period not exceeding three days from the date on which it was so detained.
77. Power of police officer to unsaddle animal or to unload it. When a police officer in good faith suspects that any animal being employed, in any work or labour is, by reason of any sore, unfit to be so employed, he may require the person in charge of such animal to
unsaddle or unload it for the purpose of ascertaining whether any sore exists and. if any person refuses to do so, such police officer may himself unsaddle or unload the animal or may cause the same to be unsaddled or unloaded.
78. Arrest without warrant in case of certain offences under Act 59 of 1960. Any police officer may arrest, without a warrant from a Magistrate, any person committing in his presence any offence punishable under clauses (a) to (m) (both inclusive) of sub-section (1) of Sec. 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
MADRAS CITY POLICE ACT, 1888
An Act to regulate the Police of the City of Madras.
Section 24 – Police Officers and Agent of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals may arrest without warrant in view of offence
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other Law for the time being in force :-
(a) any offence made punishable by Sections 45, 46, 49-A, 72 or 75 shall be cognizable.
(b) any Police Officer may arrest without a warrant any person committing in his view any offence made punishable by this Act.
(2) Any agent of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals who is specially empowered by the State Government in that behalf may arrest without a warrant any person committing in his view any offence punishable under Section 53.
(3) The agent shall have power to release any person so arrested on his executing a bond with or without sureties, for his appearance before a Magistrate if and when required.
Section 53 – Penalty for cruelty to animals
Whoever cruelly beats, ill-treats or tortures any animal, or causes any animal to be cruelly beaten, ill-treated or tortured, shall be liable on conviction to fine not exceeding one hundred rupees or to imprisonment, not exceeding three months, or to both.
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THE INDIAN PENAL CODE, 1860
Mischief by killing or maiming animal of the value of ten rupees.
428. Mischief by killing or maiming animal of the value of ten rupees.-Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless any animals or animal of the value of the ten rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
Classification of Offence:- The offence under this section is cognizable, bailable, compoundable and triable by any Magistrate.
Mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees.
429. Mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees.–Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, whatever may be the value thereof, of any other animal of the value of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment or either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.
Classification of Offence:- The offence under this section is cognizable, bailable, compoundable and triable by Magistrate of the first class.
Negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance.
284. Negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance.–
Whoever does, with any poisonous substance, any act in a manner so rash or negligent as to endanger human life, or to be likely to cause hurt or injury to any person, or knowingly or negligently omits to take such order with any poisonous substance in his possession as is sufficient to guard against probable danger to human life from such poisonous substance, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
Classification of Offence:- The offence under this section is cognizable, bailable, triable by any Magistrate, and non-compoundable.
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THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ACT, 1960
Section 11. Treating animals cruelly : (1) If any person
(a) beats, kicks, over-rides, over-drives, over-loads, tortures or otherwise treats any animal so as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering or causes, or being the owner permits, any animal to be so treated; or
(b) 13(employs in any work or labour or for any purpose any animal which, by reason of its age or any disease) infirmity; wound, sore or other cause, is unfit to be so employed or, being the owner, permits any such unfit animal to be employed; or
(c) wilfully and unreasonably administers any injurious drug or injurious substance to 14(any animal) or wilfully and unreasonably causes or attempts tocause any such drug or substance to be taken by 15(any animal;) or
(d) conveys or carries, whether in or upon any vehicle or not, any animal in such a manner or position as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering; or
(e) keeps or confines any animal in any -cage or other receptacle which does not measure sufficiently in height, length and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement; or
(f) keeps for an unreasonable time any animal chained or tethered upon an unreasonably short or unreasonably heavy chain or cord; or
(g) being the owner, neglects to exercise or cause to be exercised reasonably any dog habitually chained up or kept in close confinement; or
(h) being the owner of (any animal) fails to provide such animal with sufficient food, drink or shelter; or
(i) without reasonable cause, abandons any animal in circumstances which tender it likely that it will suffer pain by reason of starvation thirst; or
(j) wilfully permits any animal, of which he is the owner, to go at large in any street, while the animal is affected with contagious or infectious disease or, without reasonable excuse permits any diseased or disabled animal, of which he is the owner, to die in any street; or
(k) offers for sale or without reasonable cause, has in his possession any animal which is suffering pain by reason of mutilation, starvation, thirst, overcrowding or other illtreatment; or
(1) mutilates any animal or kills any animal (including stray dogs) by using the method of strychnine injections, in the heart or in any other unnecessarily cruel manner or;
(m) solely with a view to providing entertainment
(i) confines or causes to be confined any animal (including tying of an animal as a bait in a tiger or other sanctuary) so as to make it an object or prey for any other animal; or
(n) organises, keeps uses or acts in the management or, any place for animal fighting or for the purpose of baiting any animal or permits or offers any place to be so used or receives money for the admission of any other person to any place kept or used for any such purposes; or
(o) promotes or takes part in any shooting match or competition wherein animals are released from captivity for the purpose of such shooting:
he shall be punishable 19(in the case of a first offence, with fine which shall not be less than ten rupees but which may extend to fifty rupees and in the case of a second or subsequent offence committed within three years of the previous offence, with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five rupees but which may extend, to one hundred rupees or with imprisonment for a term which may extend, to three months, or with both.
(2) For the purposes of section (1) an owner shall be deemed to have committed an offence if he has failed to exercise reasonable care and supervision with a view to the prevention of such offence;
Provided that where an owner is convicted permitting cruelty by reason only of having failed to exercise such care and supervision, he shall not be liable to imprisonment without the option of a fine.
(3) Nothing in this section shall apply to –
(a) the dehorning of cattle, or the castration or branding or nose roping of any animal in the prescribed manner, or
(b) the destruction of stray dogs in lethal chambers by such other methods as may be prescribed, or (Note from ‘Jaagruti’: nothing is prescribed on this front under any laws or directives, humane sterilization of dogs is the only method advocated to control dog population and euthanasia can be administered to terminally ill and incurable animals only)
(c) the extermination or destruction of any animal under the authority of any law for the time being in force; or
(d) any matter dealt with in Chapter IV; or
(e) the commission or omission of any act in the course of the destruction or the preparation for destruction of any animal as food for mankind unless such destruction or preparation was accompanied by the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering.
12. Penalty for practising phooka or doom dev : If any persons upon any cow or other milch animal the operation called practising phooka or doom dev or any other operation (including injection of any or doom dev. substance) to improve lactation which is injurious to the health of the animal or permits such operation being performed upon any such animal in his possession or under his control, he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with both, and the animal on which the operation was performed shall be forfeited to the Government.
28. Saving as respects manner of killing prescribed by religion : Nothing contained in this Act shall render it an offence to kill any animal in a manner required by the religion of any community.
38. Power to make rules. –
(3) If any person contravenes, or abets the contravention of, any rules made under this section, he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with both.
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TRANSPORT OF ANIMALS, RULES, 1978
In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (h) of sub-section (2) of Section 38 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (59 of 1960); the Central Government hereby makes the following rules, the same having been previously published as required by the said Section, namely :
2. Definitions : In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires–
(a) qualified veterinary surgeon means one who holds a diploma or a degree of a recognized veterinary college.
96. Issue of certificate before transportation –
(1) A valid certificate issued by an officer or any person or Animal Welfare Organisation duly recognised and authorised for this purpose by the Animal Welfare Board of India or the Central Government shall be procured by any person making transport of any animal before transportation of such animal verifying that all the relevant Central and State Acts, rules and orders pertaining to the said animals including the rules relating to transport of such animals have been duly complied with and that the animal is not being transported for any purpose contrary to the provision of any law.
(2) In the absence of such certificate, the carrier shall refuse to accept the consignment for transport.
97. Cancellation of permit or authorisation for transport –
(1) In the event of contravention or non compliance of any of the rules contained in these rule for transport of animals, if it is pointed out in writing by any officer or persons or Animal Welfare Organisations authorised for this purpose by the Animal Welfare Board of India or the Central Government, then, any permit or authorisation issued for such transport shall be immediately cancelled by the concerned authority and it shall be the duty of the police to stop the further transport even from the intermediary station and proceed against the said offenders and deal with the animals in accordance with law.
(2) The custody of the animals immediately after unloading from the rail wagons, truck or any other vehicle shall be given to the authorised Animal Welfare Organisation if available, till the competent authority or the magistrate having jurisdiction decides about their care and upkeep.
98. General conditions of transport –
(1) Animals to be transported shall be healthy and in good condition and such animals shall be examined by a veterinary doctor for freedom from infectious diseases and their fitness to undertake the journey; provided that the nature and duration of the proposed journey shall be taken into account while deciding upon the degree of fitness.
(2) An animal which is unfit for transport shall not be transported and the animals who are new born, diseased, blind emaciated, lame, fatigued or having given birth during the preceding seventy two hours or likely to give birth during transport shall not be transported.
(3) Pregnant and very young animals shall not be mixed with other animals during transport.
(4) Different classes of animals shall be kept separately during transport.
(5) Diseased animals, whenever transported for treatment, shall not be mixed with other animals
(6) Troublesome animals shall be given tranquilisers before loading during transport.
(7) Animals shall be transported in their on-farm social groups (established atleast one week prior to journey).
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More articles on this subject and Animal laws of India can be accessed under the following category of posts on Jaagruti